Written by: Brad Dykens from Online World of Wrestling
The big year one bash (BYOB, playing off the party term for “Bring Your Own Beer”) was a huge event to celebrate an exciting twelve months since FIP re-launched itself. Full Impact Pro has come a long way and grown at an impressive pace into one of the top independent promotions in the country. The opening match had Erick Stevens, accompanied by Steve Madison, quickly turning Evan Starsmore into mince jobber meat in a short squash match ( 2 / 10 ). Afterwards, Steve Madison grabbed the microphone and bragged on behalf of Erick Stevens and challenged anybody from the back to face Stevens. Chasyn Rance ran out and lasted a little longer than Starsmore but still had his shoulders pinned easily ( 3 / 10 ). Steve Madison grabbed the microphone again and shouted out his own open challenge, which was answered by Tony Mamaluke. The match went much better than the first two matches on the card, and ended with Mamaluke beating the arrogance out of and stretching Madison into Submission ( 4 / 10 ).
Homicide did an interview in the FIP mobile studios talking about being FIP Champion for a full year when he was attacked by England’s Nigel McGuinness, who vowed to win the FIP title and take it to England and never come back to Florida!
Put the women and children to bed, the hideously untalented LaDuke Jakes returned to FIP and fought Antonio Banks. LaDuke Jakes is one of the least talented professional wrestlers I have ever seen. Thankfully, Antonio Banks got the victory and hopefully Jakes will go back on hiatus ( 2 / 10 ). Rainman joined LaDuke Jakes in a beat-down on Banks until Bruce Steele made the save and an impromptu match began with Steel and Rainman. As expected, Rainman won the match with a school-boy while pulling the tights ( 3.5 / 10 ). FIP delivered five matches in thirty-five minutes — that’s got to be some sort of record!
Dave Prazak introduced his new and improved DP Associates team of Jimmy Rave and Jay Lethal, who challenged Spanky and Sal Rinauro for the FIP Tag Team titles. It was solid tag team action from all four men and Dave Prazak playing the crafty heel manager at ringside. Spanky and Sal Rinauro scored the impressive victory to triumphantly retain their belts ( 6.5 / 10 ). After the match; The Heartbreak Express came out and hit on Spanky’s girlfriend Taylor Matheny (remember her, from WWE Tough Enough?) and goaded Spanky into granting them an immediate title shot. The Heartbreak Express, who have never won a match in FIP, scored the upset victory over the champions and captured the coveted FIP Tag Team championship! It may have been short but it was pretty darn good ( 7 / 10 ). Sal and Spanky pretty much had to drop the straps due to Spanky resigning with the WWE. My only hope is that The Heartbreak Express is able to carry the Tag Team division.
Jerrelle Clarke and Jay Fury faced Seth Delay and Azriael in a match that was conspicuously absent from both the DVD cover line-up and the original results posted on OWW back when the show happened. Weird. Anyway, it was the longest match of the night (so far) with great efforts by everyone ( 6 / 10 ). Jerrelle Clark and Jay Fury won the match!
The best match of the night featured two of the toughest sons of guns in all of professional wrestling. Recently crowned ROH Champion James Gibson retained his title against Roderick Strong in a 30-minute classic. There was no storyline to this match except for the story being told inside the ring. I couldn’t help but think this is the sort of match that all the disgruntled old-timers would like to see. It was two great wrestlers digging down deep and putting on a passionate performance for all the marbles. It was one of the best matches in FIP history in my humble opinion ( 9.5 / 10 ).
The main event was between FIP Heavyweight Champion Homicide and ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness with Homicide’s FIP title up for grabs. It has been a full year since Homicide won the FIP championship and I love this open door policy that FIP has in place. Homicide is the perfect champion to carry a promotion the modest size of FIP, as he can put on great matches with array of wrestlers from all walks of life. This match with Nigel was decent, but was marred by some poor-timing and the chemistry just wasn’t there like you would expect from both of these guys. Homicide pinned McGuinness and quickly bolted backstage, so I am thinking he was ill or injured or something…. or just in a bad mood! Still a very good match by indy wrestling standards and worth viewing if you get the chance ( 7.5 / 10 ).
Final Thoughts: The first five matches were mercifully below par and the three tag team matches weren’t anything special, but thankfully the final two matches were grand-slam home runs. More effort needs to be put into this kind of high profile event. Congratulations to FIP for a very successful year of good old fashioned professional wrestling —- and many more!